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In chemistry, a sulfide (sulphide in British English) is a combination of sulfur with an oxidation number of -2, with another chemical element or a radical thereof. A few covalent sulfur compounds, such as carbon disulfide (CS2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) are also considered to be sulfides.

Hydrogen sulfide gas has the odor of rotten eggs, and is also highly toxic. It is formed biologically in the sediments of swamps and in the treatment of sewage sludge by anaerobic digestion of sulfur containing proteins, or bacterial reduction of sulfates. It also occurs in the emissions of some volcanoes, and as a byproduct of some industrial processes.

Table of contents
1 Uses
2 Natural occurrence
3 Safety


Natural occurrence

Many important
metal ores are sulfides. Significant sulfide minerals include:


Many sulfides are significantly toxic by inhalation or injection, especially if the metal ion is toxic. Additionally many sulfides, when exposed to a strong mineral
acid, will release toxic hydrogen sulfide - and this includes your stomach acids!

Also, many sulfides are somewhat flammable, and a few are highly flammable. When a sulfide burns, the fumes usually include toxic sulfur dioxide (SO2) gas.

See also sulfate, sulfite.